New York Film Locations

Madonna’s Crave Music Video in NYC

25 May 2019

Madonna has recently debuted the music video for “Crave”, which sees her joining forces with Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee.

The four minute video was directed by Nuno Xico and begins with panoramic shots of New York’s Lower East Side, in particular the apartment building at the corner of Cherry and Market Street, before constantly flitting between clips of the pair’s performance that are captured in both black and white and colour.

The single “Crave” is taken from Madonna’s forthcoming album “Madame X”, which is due for release in June. The album is lead by the Maluma collaboration “Medellin”.

The majority of the music video was shot on the rooftop of Knickerbocker Village apartments, which is a lower middle class housing development situated between the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge, in the Two Bridges section of the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Although the location was generally considered to fall in the Lower East Side, it has come to be thought of as part of Chinatown in recent years. It is located a short distance from New York City Hall, Civic Center, and the South Street Seaport. The complex consists of 1,590 apartments in twelve 13-story brick buildings surrounding two courtyards at 10-12-14-16-18-20 Monroe Street and 30-32-34-36-38-40 Monroe Street on the Lower East Side, taking up two whole city blocks and bounded by Catherine Street, Monroe Street, Market Street, and Cherry Street.

The real estate developer Fred F. French began construction of Knickerbocker Village in 1933 and completed it in 1934. As a project of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC), which Congress authorized to extend loans to private developers for the construction of low-income housing in slum areas, Knickerbocker Village was the first apartment development in the United States to receive federal funding, with 98% of the money from the project going to the Knickerbocker Village. It provided 1,590 small apartments primarily to small middle-income families. The RFC was supposed to help revive the construction industry and increase the supply of low-income housing in New York.

When the United States Congress authorized the RFC to make loans on slum clearance projects, French picked out the worst block in his holdings and presented it as a worthy subject for clearance. His choice was "Lung Block," so called because of its high tuberculosis mortality rate, where 650 families lived. French proposed to build a low-cost housing project. RFC lent 97% of the required $10,000,000. The average cost of "Lung Block" to Knickerbocker Village was high: $3,116,000, or $14 per square foot. The development's tax assessment was reduced by two-thirds to bring the monthly room rental down to the $12.50 stipulated by the RFC. Because the average rental before construction of the development had been about $5 a room, Knickerbocker Village no longer served the same low-income families that had lived in the "Lung Block" housing. It was filled with white collar workers. Eighty-two percent of the families who moved into the apartments were soon forced to move back to the slums they had left because of escalating rents.

After fifty years, French sold the complex to new owners in the 1970s. Under that management, over a fifteen-year period, the complex underwent extensive renovation and rejuvenation. Almost $15 million were spent on new windows, new building entrance ways and foyers and waterproofing. The building also has a horticulturist who maintains the extensive gardens in the courtyard located in the center of the building and around the grounds. The complex includes the Hamilton Madison House Knickerbocker Village Senior Service Naturally Occurring Retirement Community (NORC) that offers services and activities for the building's increasing elderly population.

100 Knickerbocker Village, Cherry Street and Market Street, Manhattan.


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